Your brand story is unique.
What you do, why you do it, how, and what you believe in, are all unique elements that together create your brand story.
How do you share these elements and their uniqueness with your audience?
The messages you use to communicate the core aspects of your brand are called brand messaging pillars.
In this post, I will share the definition of brand messaging pillars with examples.
I will also clarify how you can create these pillars and how to use them most effectively.
What are brand messaging pillars?
Brand messaging pillars are the messages that help your customers understand who you are as a company, what makes you unique, and why they should buy from you.
They are the messages that communicate the foundation and pillars of your authentic brand story and competitive positioning.
Brand messaging pillars are the heart of your branding strategy and should be used as a guide when writing any content related to your business.
Benefits of brand messaging pillars
The biggest advantage of brand messaging pillars is that they help your brand be known, be perceived as unique, and build an association with the aspects that set you apart.
Here are a few key benefits of identifying your brand messaging pillars.
To dig into this further, what happens when you don’t have core brand messaging pillars?
Then you talk about anything and everything related to your products and services and your audience has no idea how you are different from your competition.
Similarly, if you ask your employees or partners what your brand stands for, you hear different answers.
1. Establishes uniqueness
When all your brand and marketing messaging and communication adhere to a few core pillars, your brand will be known to stand for those topics, thus creating its uniqueness.
- Apple: Innovation, style
- Hermes: Heritage, leather
2. Drives more effective teamwork
When you have clear messaging pillars identified for your brand, it can help your team and employees to also be on the same page.
3. Ensures consistency
Your brand messaging pillars can help you build consistency across all your content and brand touchpoints.
It can help to create more effective content and unique stories for your brand.
And that’s not just for the future. It ensures consistency even as your brand grows and evolves.
How to create brand messaging pillars
The best way to create brand messaging pillars is to first create your brand story which will outline some core foundations of your brand.
Your messaging pillars are derived from these core concepts.
When you create your story, you will have to ask questions like:
- Why did you start your business? (brand purpose)
- Whom are you trying to help with your business (target audience), and how?
- Which elements of your brand or business make you different? (competitive positioning)
- What do you hope to achieve with your business (besides money)? (mission and vision)
- What do you believe in and stand for? (brand values)
Also check out some brand purpose examples if you need inspiration getting started.
Now that you have your core brand messages, pick a few pillars from them to focus your brand messaging on.
See below the figure of a brand messaging framework and hierarchy.
At the top are the core brand messages of the brand promise, purpose, mission, and vision.
You can also have a tagline.
Based on these core concepts, you identify a few brand pillars.
Your marketing messaging, i.e., your product descriptions, email marketing, content, etc., all flow from those brand pillars.
That is why I mentioned above that your brand messaging pillars are defined by your brand fundamentals and brand story.
You need to create them first.
Then you can choose the factors that make you most unique.
For example, let’s say you sell yoga clothes that are super soft on your skin, making you want to wear them all the time, not just for yoga.
Then your brand messaging pillars could focus on:
- Comfort clothing
- Lounging at home
Limit your brand messaging pillars to just a few so that you can get your brand noticed and build authority on those topics.
If you try to add too many layers to your messaging, it can get confusing and overwhelming. Your brand identity may not be strong then.
How brand messaging pillars guide content creation and brand stories
Brand messaging pillars are the fundamental topics that should guide all your content creation and marketing, the messaging on your website, and all other brand and marketing communication.
Think about it this way.
If you create any content, it should fit with one of your brand messaging pillars.
Otherwise, it is not a topic you should create content on.
Let’s see some brand messaging pillar examples to understand these concepts in more detail.
Brand messaging pillars examples for stories and content
I will share examples of well-known brands of whom you probably already have a perception in your mind.
You will be familiar with how the brands and their content, and you will see how the brand messaging pillars inspire the brand stories and content.
On its corporate website, BMW showcases two key brand messaging pillars:
When you check out their content and stories on their brand website, they share the same theme.
The content either adapts the brand messaging pillar of innovation or of sustainability, or both.
The podcast topics share the same brand themes as well.
The next brand messaging pillar example is from a completely different industry: (fast) food.
Chick-fil-A outlines two core pillars for its brand:
Within these giant concepts, it has sub-pillars.
Under food, some topics are new items on the menu and recipes.
Under community, there is ‘giving back’ to the community and helping people.
The brand content is made up of stories, which also fall under these two brand messaging pillars.
Now we come to the service industry.
We know that LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals.
The mission and vision of the brand actually state that clearly, with the brand pillars being:
- Create economic opportunity
- Connect the world’s professionals
When then explore the topics that LinkedIn create content on, you can see that they match the brand pillars accurately.
- Job search
Everyone knows Unicef.
When you think Unicef, what comes to mind? Helping children, right?
More specifically, giving children their basic rights:
The stories and content that Unicef shares then are also about these fundamental brand pillars.
How to optimize your content for search engines with brand messaging pillars
We said before that your brand messaging pillars are the core messages that your brand gets associated with.
This way, you will get more organic traffic.
Here are a few steps to optimize your website for your brand messaging pillars:
- Create a customized SEO strategy to identify your content topics
- Use SEO software to choose keywords that support your brand messaging pillars
- Write SEO-friendly content and work on your content optimization
- Make sure your website provides a good user experience
Remember to also choose the right website platform for your brand.
If you plan to write lots of blog posts, for example, WordPress may be the best choice.
Brand messaging pillars – Concluding tips
I have covered most of the strategies and examples you need to create content guided by your brand messaging pillars.
To conclude, here are a few more tips:
1. Integrate your messaging with imagery
Your brand story and uniqueness really come to life when it is reflected with the perfect combination of brand design and messaging.
2. Keep it simple
Keep your messaging simple and easy to understand. The objective should always be that even with a few stories or pieces of content your website visitor or audience will understand what your small business brand stands for.
3. Track and refine
Your brand messaging may not be perfect for day one. Create a few pieces of content, and see how it resonates with your audience.
Amplify what works.
Do you have any tips on creating brand messaging pillars? Share in the comments!